The door to Magneto's office is slightly ajar, light spilling out harshly against the gloom of the hallway, and Emma Frost knows that their Fearless Leader hates interruptions without due cause, but honestly, she doesn't give a damn. The new recruits are giving her a massive headache, which refuses to go away even when she shifts into diamond form, and she doesn't see why she's the one who has to deal with all their issues while Magneto gets to pine away in his room.

The ancient hinges don't creak as she pushes the door open. There's something to be said for having a person who controls metal on your side. "Magneto," she starts to say, but then she pauses.

Magneto's slouched over the desk, the helmet he never removes firmly and obviously uncomfortably attached to his skull, reports and odd papers scattered everywhere. Emma rolls her eyes at his paranoia. It's not like Professor X's, as Charles has taken to calling himself, precious morals would allow him to invade their minds. She goes to wake him up, carefully—for all his weaknesses, Magneto can be a nasty son of a bitch when he's angered, annoyed, woken up suddenly by exasperated second-in-commands; there's a reason why she's still following him after all—and pauses.

There's a slight motion by the side of his head, which she investigates cautiously. To very little surprise, she realizes that it's a little metal object. Bigger than a pin, but smaller than a thimble. Bullet-sized, she supposes, and perhaps that's what it is. It's certainly not a new bullet but the question of what it is goes straight out of her mind as she sees what it's doing.

Scratched into the wood of the desk is a name. She leans closer to get a look at his face, which is almost peaceful in sleep. Emma backs up to the doorway and studies the scene: the quietly slumbering man, the harsh lines on his forehead softened somehow, the small piece of metal carving the name over and over and over, unbeknownst to him, into the wood.

If Emma had been anyone else, she might possibly have found it sweet. As it were though, it's just—

"Pathetic," she murmurs, and, leaving the door wide open as she leaves, goes back downstairs to intimidate the recruits into submission and proper respect.

A/N: crossposted from the Archive